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A Quartet of Staff Recommendations

January 18, 2010 by Reader's Connection

Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family by Karen Tintori   364.1523 TIN
Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American FamilyImagine finding out, quite by accident, that one of your great aunts had been murdered… her own family. That is the situation the author finds when she untangles the decades old mystery of her great aunt Francesca Costa. Francesca was “promised” to a man, a man who was wealthy, mafia connected and twenty years her senior, by her father. The match was supposed to increase the station of her brothers and her father.   Francesca thought otherwise. She was already in love with a neighborhood barber. The two of the snuck away, while both families were at church, and got married. She was away for months. When she returned, to seek reconciliation with her family, Francesca’s two older brothers killed her for the “disgrace” she brought to the family. 
Intertwined with this story, horrible as it may be, is the fascinating account of Sicilian-American history in the early 20th century.   How the Costa family came to America, and how they settled in Detroit. The customs that were at play in the family, and in the community at large, are reason enough to read this book. How the author used patience, and perseverance, to get to the bottom of this family mystery also make for a good read. But, the very best reason for reading this book is to return to Francesca the voice that was criminally silenced. — Robin Bradford, Selection


Fractal Time: The Secret of 2012 and a New World Age by Gregg Braden   001.9 BRA

Fractal Time: The Secret of 2012 and a New World AgeHave you ever noticed how every so many years an apocalyptic event is predicted that gets people talking (and obsessing)? The next event that is gaining traction is the end of the Mayan Calendar (or, more precisely, the end of the current cycle of it) on December 21, 2012.
Gregg Braden, former computer systems designer and pioneer in bridging science and spirituality, offers his take on this current cottage industry. In his book, Fractal Time: The Secret of 2012 and a New World Age, Mr. Braden gives a lucid account of his take on the subject.
An intriguing concept of time is developed by exploring the ancients’ concept of cycles (as evidenced in Hindu, Mayan and various cultures around the globe) and studies in our time of nature’s patterns called fractals. From global to personal, these repeating patterns set up conditions that can echo what has come before. By understanding these cycles and conditions we have a chance to avoid mistakes made in the past. These opportunities to change course are dubbed choice points by Mr. Braden.
With concise and elegant explanations of quantum physics and the concept of the space/time continuum Mr. Braden enables the reader to see spiral patterns in history, both of our world and our individual lives. He emphasizes opportunity over destiny provided we are aware of these cycles and our chance to affect them. — Mary Kay Greenawalt, Central Library


The Handbook of Style: Expert Fashion and Beauty Advice by Francine Maroukian and Sarah Woodruff   646.7042 HAN

The Handbook of Style:  Expert Fashion and Beauty AdviceThis small book packs a lot of information for the stylishly challenged. The authors searched out experts in fashion and beauty asking them such questions as; how to find eyeglasses for your facial shape, how to you trim your bangs, how to apply false eyelashes, how to find the perfect little black dress, white blouse or bra and, my favorite, “How to bundle up without looking like a walrus.” The chapters are short and to the point with helpful step by step directions and diagrams. Each expert has a small biography explaining why they were selected for this book and then a very short question and answer section at the end of the chapter. The chapter that I found most helpful was on how to organize your closet and your shoes. The experts suggested arranging you clothing and shoes by color so you could tell at a glance what you have and what matches. Simple but effective. — Lygia Bischoff, Pike Branch


The Given Day by Dennis Lehane   FIC LEH

The Given DayIt’s a time of political and social unrest.  Terrorists and bombing.  People without medical insurance.  Big business growing more powerful.  The year?  No, not 2010.  It’s 1918. Danny Coughlin and the rest of the Boston Police Department struggle to keep up as Boston is hit again and again by a series of tragedies.  Within a year’s time the Salutation Street police station is bombed, WWI soldiers bring the Spanish flu (which killed and maimed thousands in Boston alone), two million gallons of molasses spill into the streets causing death and property destruction, terrorists prowl and prey and bomb, unions strike.  Through it all, Danny and his fellow officers are the first line of defense and yet they are underpaid, under-benefited, overworked, and not allowed to join a union to rectify any of those inequities.   And when, backs against the wall, they do strike, politicians’ machinations turn their actions against them.  Lehane spins a powerful story of people struggling to survive and the extent the powerful will go to in order to retain their power. — Cheryl Holtsclaw, West Indianapolis Branch


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